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Dr. Twyla Cummings

Twyla J. Cummings, Ph.D. is the Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Education at Rochester Institute of technology (RIT). Prior to this appointment, she served as the Sr. Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Faculty Research in the College of Art and Design. In addition to her current role, she is a tenured professor in the College of Engineering Technology’s, Department of Graphic Media Science and Technology.


Dr. Cummings came to RIT in 1999 as a tenure track faculty member. She was the Graduate Director for the MS degree in Print Media from 2002-2009 with oversight for the development of two new graduate programs. In 2006 she was appointed to the Paul and Louise Miller Distinguished Professorship. In this role she successfully supported the mission of the endowment to engage in research initiatives that would give recognition to news media/newspapers as a significant segment of the graphic communication industry. 


Dr. Cummings’ teaching and research is focused in the areas of media distribution, media business industry trends and women in graphic communication. She has been a frequent speaker on critical trends in post-press, service diversification and other issues impacting the graphic communication industry as a whole. She is past Board member of the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL; now EPICOMM) and the Board of Governors for the former R & E Council of NAPL. Dr. Cummings is a past member of the America East Advisory Board where she was the Chairperson for the 2014 America East Conference. She is a member of the prestigious Walter E. Soderstrom and Nonpareil Societies of NAPL and the R & E Council. In 2013 she was inducted into the OutputLinks Communications Group’s Women of Distinction program. In 2015, she received the Printing Industries of America’s Naomi Berber Memorial Award and in 2016 was inducted into the Printing Industries of America Ben Franklin Honor Society. 


Prior to coming to RIT Dr. Cummings had an extensive career at Eastman Kodak Company in Dayton, OH. The Dayton operations facility was a major producer of high volume digital printing equipment. While at Kodak she was rapidly promoted to levels of increasing responsibility throughout various divisions beginning with her first position as an ink chemist in R&D and quality assurance through a transition into marketing management, product management and strategic management.


In addition to her professional commitments, she has been actively involved in the Rochester community. Previously she was the Board Chair of the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation, Board Chair for YWCA of Rochester and was a Board Member for the Rochester Women’s Network. She currently serves as on the YWCA of Rochester Board Advisory Council, the YMCA Corporate Board and a member of the Young Women’s College Prep (YWCP) Culture, Climate, Student and Family Engagement Committee. In July of 2021 she will be joining the Board of Trustees of Keuka College. Additionally, she was the recipient of the 2018 RIT Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award.


As an RIT diversity is integral to every aspect of her role. Diversity and inclusion impacts her leadership, teaching, research, recruitment/retention, mentoring and programming. Twyla was the recipient of the 2013 RIT Changing Hearts, Changing Minds Award and the 2014 Isaac L. Jordan, Sr.  Faculty Pluralism Award.


She is a member of Memorial AME Zion Church where she serves on the CI Bullock Scholarship Committee, sings in the adult choir and is a member of Beyond the Sanctuary Board of Directors and Advisory Committee. She is also a member of AKOMA, an African American Women’s Gospel Choir.


Twyla possesses both a B.S. Degree in Chemistry and a M.S. Degree in Business and Industrial Management from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.  She earned her Doctoral Degree in Management from The Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio. 


She is married to Thomas Cummings and has two adult step-children: Andria and Patrick, and one granddaughter: Santasia.

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